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The Situation Room

News/Business. Wolf Blitzer. Traditional reporting and online resources update international news. New.

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CNN

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03:00:00

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Annapolis, MD, USA

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Comcast Cable

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Port 1234

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mpeg2video

AUDIO CODEC
mp2

PIXEL WIDTH
720

PIXEL HEIGHT
480

TOPIC FREQUENCY

Romney 40, Us 39, America 38, Bill Clinton 29, Obama 24, Israel 22, U.s. 22, New York 20, United Nations 17, Paul Ryan 15, Florida 14, Cnn 13, United States 11, Joe Biden 11, U.n. 11, Erick 11, Ohio 10, Libya 9, Iran 9, Clinton 9,
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  CNN    The Situation Room    News/Business. Wolf Blitzer. Traditional reporting  
   and online resources update international news. New.  

    September 25, 2012
    4:00 - 6:59pm EDT  

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>> the guys the regular refs are the very best in the world at what they do. you're at risk of safety, risk of credibility of the league and at risk of having a controversial ending to a game like we had last night. >> it's incredible how many people shout at the regular refs. i have a feeling when and if they come back there could be a grand standing ovation for them, which is something perhaps many fans never thought they would see. drew bledsoe, we're out of time. please come back. drew bledsoe, thanks so much for talking to me. i'm brooke baldwin. now to wolf blitzer and "the situation room." brooke, thanks very much. happening now, a speech to the world. president obama at the united nations goes in depth on the turmoil in the middle east. also, mitt romney talking aid, trade and more drilling down on foreign policy. we're going to hear what he's saying. and the news many homeowners have been waiting for years to hear. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room."
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a brief break from the verbal sparring, the white house race. president obama stepped back in the global spotlight in new york today addressing the united nations assembly. he spoke at length about the turmoil in the middle east touting diplomacy and coalition building as the solution to the crisis to the region that's been vexing his administration. jessica yellin is traling with the president in new york. jessica, give us an update. what did the president say? >> reporter: wolf, when the president spoke here he had two major audiences, a global audience and a domestic audience. voters listening now to foreign policy issues with a new ear and a new eye after this violence in libya. and the president addressing it all just six weeks out from the election. at the united nations, president
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obama used the world stage to declare. >> the attacks on the civilians in benghazi were attacks on america. there should be no doubt that we will be relentless in tracking down the killers and bringing them to justice. >> reporter: his most expansive comments on what he called the crisis in the middle east. he invoked the memory of one fallen american. >> we must reaffirm that our future will be determined by people like chris stevens and not by his killers. today we must declare that this violence and intolerance has no place among our united nations. >> reporter: to the world he offered a lesson in u.s. values. first, denouncing the insighting video. >> a crude and disgusting video sparked outrage throughout the muslim world. >> reporter: next, affirming america's embrace of all religions. >> we not only respect the freedom of religion, we have laws that protect individuals from being harmed because of how they look or what they believe. >> reporter: then a lesson in
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tolerance and the freedom of expressi expression. >> like me, the majority of americans are christian and we do not ban blasphemy against our own most sacred believes. i expect people will call me the most awful things every day. and i will always defend their right to do so. >> reporter: seeing an inflexion point after the arab spring, the president called on the world's leaders to champion the same values. >> there is no speech that justifies mindless violence. there are no words that excuse the killing of innocence. there's no video that justifies an attack on an embassy. >> reporter: and president obama resisted campaign season pressure to intensify his rhetoric against iran. instead, he reiterated in stark terms his commitment to diplomacy and consequences if that fails. >> a nuclear armed iran is not a challenge that can be contained. it will threaten the elimination of israel. the united states will do what we must to prevent iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. >> reporter: after his remarks,
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he crossed town to the clinton global initiative where he addressed an issue with potential appeal to evangelical and women voters, human sex trafficking. >> that's slavery. it is barbaric and it is evil and it has no place in a civilized world. >> reporter: wolf, on other top foreign policy concerns, he addressed the crisis in syria, he mentioned the withdrawal of troops from iraq and the draw down from afghanistan and the trouble between israel and the palestinians. but that was all. he essentially was checking the box on all those fronts. and no mention at all of china. in essence, wolf, this was a speech about the two crises that have consumed foreign policy discussion during the u.s. campaign. the tension between israel and iran and now this most recent crisis in libya, wolf. >> with six weeks to go until the election, jessica, tomorrow i take it he's right back out
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there in the swing states out on the campaign trail? >> reporter: that's right. he is hitting the campaign once again. he will be in the battle groind states. this is campaign season for president obama from here until election day with of course the debates coming up, first debate next week. >> yeah. three presidential debates. one vice presidential debate. jessica, thanks. also in new york city mitt romney speaking at the clinton global initiative just ahead of the president. romney focused on foreign policy as well vowing he would link u.s. foreign aid to trade with help going to developing countries that remove barriers to investment and trade. he also discussed unrest in the middle east and said he would have a different approach than president obama. >> a lot of americans including myself are developed -- excuse me, are troubled by developments in the middle east. syria has witnessed the killing of tens of thousands of people. the president of egypt is a member of the muslim brotherhood. our em bass dor to libya was
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assassinated in a terrorist attack. iran is moving towards nuclear weapons capability. we somehow feel that we're at the mercy of events rather than shaping events. a year from now i hope to return this meeting as president having made substantial progress towards the forms i've outlined. i also hope to remind the world of the goodness and the bigness of the american heart. never apologize for america. i believe that america has been one of the greatest forces for good the world has ever known. we can hold that knowledge in our hearts with humility and wavering conviction. >> let's get more on what's going on with our chief national correspondent john king and chief political analyst gloria borger. his aides keep saying he, but romney will never apologize for america. the accusation being that president obama has repeatedly supposedly apologized for america. >> you've heard this from lots of republicans and over the last
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year so that the president apologizes for america, that he doesn't believe in american exceptionalism. it's no surprise to me, wolf, that we're hearing this now. look, there's a crisis in the middle east. the only poll numbers in fact in which the president is going down are in foreign policy by sort of a handful of points. so this is a moment for mitt romney to take advantage of that. because in every other poll number, the president seems to be heading in the other direction, ie going up. so he's trying to take advantage of that and to tell people, you know, things aren't going so well in the middle east. this is a president who hasn't been as strong as he says he's been. and wants to get some kind of advantage and some traction on that. >> and certainly, john, while he was addressing the world at the u.n. general assembly speech, if you listen closely he was responding to some of that criticism from the romney campaign. >> the president didn't break any new ground but used interesting and tough language. he's undermining israel and
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throwing them under the bus, the iran nuclear program is something that cannot be contained, as you know as well as i do prime minister netanyahu doubts, the israeli government is not sure president obama will follow through. the president said it will do what it must as necessary. the bigger question though, wolf, you covered the white house for a long time. i covered the white house for a long time. there are a lot of people, not just the republicans, a lot of people in the foreign policy community nkts wondering if the president is making a mistake. the new egyptian leadership is there. the new libyan leadership is there. the president of afghanistan is there. you have fires burning around the world if you will right now. he might be president for four more years, he's certainly going to be president for the next couple months. a lot of people are saying is the campaign really that important that he can't spend time eyeball-to-eyeball -- >> gloria, i want you to weigh-in. the fact is when george w. bush was seeking re-election in 2004, he went up six weeks, met with a
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bunch of leaders. when bill clinton was seeking re-election in 1996, six weeks before the election he was at the u.n. general assembly meeting with a whole bunch of world leaders. >> this is kind of a don't rock the boat strategy. i think there's a sense that no good can come of any controversy right now. and that if you have one bilateral meeting and only one bilateral meeting, you're going to get other people angry. if you have a host of bilaterals, there's more of an opportunity to get more people angry. so if you're in the obama campaign and you're looking at the next six weeks, saying why do we want to cause ourselves any problems? and that's exactly what's behind this. >> he's going to go back on the campaign trail of florida and ohio. i'm going to show our viewers our poll of polls, the average number of the most recent polls in these two key battleground states. look at ohio first. likely voters choice for president you see it right there, john, 50% for president obama, 44% for romney. that's a nice lead for obama in the key battleground state of
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ohio. if you take a look at florida, you see right now in our poll of polls the average among the most recent polls in florida, 49% for obama, 45% for romney. the question to you, john, can romney win without winning ohio and florida? >> in a word, wolf. i took a walk over here to show. the answer is no. you just mentioned ohio and florida. states the president carried four years ago. states governor romney very much needs to win this time. go to the electoral map to show you why. final six weeks, 237 electoral votes strong or leaning the president's way. these are the toss up states. the golden states. forget the rest of them. if the president can keep that lead and carry florida, if the president can keep that lead and carry ohio, the race is to 270, wolf, that would be in two words game over. >> gloria, if you look at the strength that the president has in these states, you see something fascinating. >> it is. i call it the empathy question.
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which candidate is seen as advancing the interest of the middle class? you see the president up by 25 points on that question in florida, by 19 points in ohio. and that is of course what people vote on. because everybody says they're middle class. so this is essentially asking, who's the fellow who cares more about my interests? and with obama up by those considerable double digits, it's very, very difficult for mitt romney. >> puts the pressure on romney in these presidential debates, the first one a week from tomorrow, guys. october 3rd, thanks very much. bill clinton on mitt romney and the 47%. the former president talks to cnn's pierce morgan about the republican nominee and why the debates could make all the difference.
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political leaders today in new york. but in a one-on-one interview with cnn's pierce morgan, the former president got a lot more political about the state of the campaign. listen to this. >> mitt romney today came out with this line that went down very well with the audience. if there's one thing we've learned a few words from bill clinton can do someone a lot of good. what words would you have for mitt romney given the state of the election campaign right now? >> well, i think, you know, the debates are very important for him. >> crucial? >> i think so. and i think if he's going to double down on that 47% remark, that will cause difficulties because we now know that the overwhelming number of those people work and have children. and the reason they don't pay federal income taxes is the median income is as low as it was in 1995 now. and until the current election
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season, republicans and democrats supported both the child tax credit and the earned income tax credit. this is a rejection of basically more than three decades of bipartisan policy to support working family. it's not a bunch of free loaders. >> that's only the start. please be sure to watch the full interview with former president bill clinton on cnn's pierce morgan tonight, that's coming up at 9:00 p.m. eastern here on cnn. today also brought hopeful signs about the u.s. economy. home prices are on the rise. and so is consumer confidence. cnn's chief business correspondent, ali velshi, is joining us from new york right now. ali, update us on the latest information coming in. >> well, two pieces of information that are really key to people's decisions about how they feel about the economy. consumer confidence is a measure of how people feel about the current situation and what it's going to be in the future. it rose nine points in
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september. that was after a decline in august. so in august people were feeling like things weren't going in the right direction. now the latest reading is that americans are feeling quite strong. so that's a good bump in consumer confidence. now, here's the thing. if there's a cloud, an economic cloud over us right now, the silver lining has been housing. we have seen inventories drop, foreclosures slow down, prices start to stabilize and even rise. we have a great measure called the case shiler index. it measures 20 urban areas, 20 cities across the united states. and it is now measured the third consecutive rise in home prices now in september. in fact, we saw 1.6% rise, wolf, compared to the previous month. so these are two pieces of good news. sorry, july. july to august we saw 1.6% increase. so this is -- you know, these two things make people feel a little more prosperous. they think the job situation is going to improve after 23 months of improvement. and they're seeing home prices
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get a little better. these are warming signs for the economy, wolf. >> on the other hand, as you know, some people see the housing numbers going up, they think maybe home prices could be bottoming out right now. what's the assessment on that? >> yeah. and look, the thing about home prices to remember as you know very well, wolf, it's all local. nobody necessarily goes out there and says, hey, home prices rose in the summer by 1.6%. it's either time to get in or sell my house. you're going to find out what it's like in the area in which you're in. arizona saw some big increases. places like atlanta are still suffering in terms of housing prices. but all 20 markets are measured by this survey saw an improvement. that's a very, very telling sign. it's a combination both, wolf, of housing prices possibly bottoming out and these remarkably, remarkably low interest rates. you can get a 30-year fixed mortgage now for little better than 3.5%. so that's helping out the economy much more than anybody telling you what the economy is doing. >> certainly is.
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the political ramifications of this with six weeks to go until the election the positive signs in the economy, what does that say at least over these six weeks for president obama and governor romney? >> well, president obama's got a few things that can go wrong. some of them are political in terms of foreign policy. economically his biggest issue is if something goes wrong between israel or iran ratchets it up, oil prices go up, that always makes people feel very bad about the economy even if it's tied to something specific. there are two jobs reports to come out. one next friday and one five days before the election. those could indicate something the president doesn't like. here's the thing, bottom line right now the economy is feeling good. as you know it's still polling as the number one election issue. if it keeps on track, the republicans are going to have to watch their messaging about how this is a bad economy because many americans are not actually feeling it's worse than it was four years ago. >> and early october when jobs
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numbers, unemployment rate and also in early november before the election, the second one, still got those two jobs reports awaiting all of us. thanks, ali, very much. a severe breach of royal protocol forces the bbc to apologize to queen elizabeth. details of what one reporter did that's unheard of in british journalism. [ male announcer ] whether it's kevin's smartphone... mom's smartphone... dad's tablet... or lauren's smartphone... at&t has a plan built to help make families' lives easier. introducing at&t mobile share. one plan lets you share data on up to 10 devices with unlimited talk and text. add a tablet for only $10 per month. the more data you share, the more you save.
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forward.
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lisa sylvester's monitoring some of the other top stories in
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"the situation room" right now. lisa, iran's showing some military muscle in the strait of hormuz. >> that's right, wolf. the iranian navy successfully fired four missiles designed to hit ships in the persian gulf. the most recent test comes as u.s.-led naval groups conduct mine sweeping drills in the court. and ahmadinejad prepares to address the u.n. assembly tomorrow. clerics now have the bbc issuing an apology. the a reporter revealed that the queen was pretty upset that british officials didn't arrest the cleric after his 2006 conviction on terror charges. the court ruled that he can be extradited to the u.s. where he faces a possible life sentence. in britain, disclosing private conversations with her majesty is an extreme breech of etiquette. and back here in the u.s., reading scores on the s.a.t. have reached a new 40-year low
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prompting alarm bells from educational leaders who say more than half of students probably won't succeed in college. the organization that gives the s.a.t. says totals among every racial group except asian students were down since 2006. the result of more kids taking the test and correlation between high scores and income levels. and from bad to worse. okay. last night's final play between the seattle seahawks and the green bay packers gave the seahawks a win even know the nfl admitted today it was wrong. the league said a correct penalty call would have given the packers a victory. but it couldn't use instant replay to reverse it. fire storm criticism continues to rage out on replacement refs with packers guard t.j. lang tweeting today [ bleep ] nfl, fine me and use the money to pay the regular refs. all the regular refs have been locked out because of a paid dispute with the nfl. some pretty strong language
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there. you know what i think, wolf, everybody agrees they just want this thing resolved. reach an agreement already. >> i got to tell you, the nfl is the leadership. they are being so ridiculously stupid. it's not that much money in the scheme of things. pay the refs, let the fans enjoy. get rid of these ridiculous calls and have real solid referees. it makes me crazy to see what's going on as a football fan, i love the nfl, but this is making me nuts. >> yeah. i think a lot of people too. president obama weighed in on this too. >> it's not that much money and it's billions of dollars they make. let them pay these refs a little more and move on. >> i think a lot of people agree with you, wolf. >> horrible blunder. our strategy session is about to look at how standing next to bill clinton actually helps both presidential candidates and how much it occasionally tends to overshadow them as well. all day battery life ? droid does. and does it launch apps by voice while learning your voice ? launch cab4me. droid does. keep left at the fork.
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call... and lock in your rate for 12 months today. liberty mutual insurance. responsibility. what's your policy? i'm wolf blitzer in "the situation room." here are some stories we're working on right now. both presidential candidates had some facetime with former president bill clinton today. who did he help the most? we're also looking at the biggest gain in politics right now lowering expectations for the presidential debates. stand by, you're in "the situation room." let's get right to our strategy session. joining us cnn contributors, democratic strategist donna brazile, and erick erickson.
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er erick, start with you, clinton smiled at the beginning of his remarks. listen to this. >> if there's one thing we've learned in this election season by the way, it is that a few words from bill clinton can do a man a lot of good. [ applause ] all i got to do now is wait a couple days for that bounce to happen. >> a cute moment indeed. the former president bill clinton had said some really nice things about mitt romney in introducing him. even though that was sort of light hearted, there's an important substantiative serious point that could be made as well, erick. >> i think so. they did a very good job there.
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mitt romney stayed away from really going after the president today. it really does show you how bill clinton has shined after being outside of the office. and it also does raise a point that the crowd there recognized that a lot of the bounce that barack obama got out of his convention was really bill clinton's bounce. but i don't think he'll dispute it. but i think he'll take it. and mitt romney hasn't had that bounce. everything seems to be faded now and we're back to the neck and neck race in this country particularly the swing states. i guess this leads us to the debates. are they really going to matter? you bet. >> donna, clinton had a little fun introducing the president at the clinton global initiative. listen to this. >> if you're an american citizen and you introduce the president, you're supposed to say the president of the united states and shut up. that's it. i just want to make one comment about this. i'm going to finish that speech i started in charlotte.
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>> he had a little fun at that as well. he spoke about 45 minutes in charlotte at that convention. how much does bill clinton with six weeks to go, donna, in this election campaign help president obama? >> you know, president clinton has the mightest touch. he understands this political theater i think better than most former politicians. someone in touch with the values of everyday working americans. one of the most admired politicians in the country. there's no question that bill clinton is going to be helpful not just to president obama but democrats up and down the ticket. he is in demand from all quarters of the country. and i just hope and pray that bill clinton will not only get out there every day over the next 40 some odd days, but he's there to help president obama and vice president biden with the debate preps.
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because i agree with erick, the debates are going to be crucial this election season. >> out on the campaign trail, erick, paul ryan, the republican vice presidential nominee, he's making some serious accusations against joe biden. but joe biden is responding. listen to what joe biden said today. >> for the previous eight years all the policies that congressman ryan voted for and governor romney said he supported, all those policies in a mere eight years, they doubled the national debt. they doubled the national debt from what they inherited in 2001. >> he's right on that because the debt was about $5 trillion when president bush took office, more than $10 trillion when he left office. i think he's referring to the two tax cuts that weren't paid for, the precipitation drug benefits that weren't paid for, two wars, iraq and afghanistan that weren't paid for that caused so much, at least 80% or
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90% of that debt. >> well, you know, i actually don't think the wars caused added as much, but a lot of stuff did. here's a fact as well, yes, president bush left office with a double national debt. here's another fact the democrats don't like. president obama has added more to the national debt than all other presidents from george washington to george w. bush combined. that too is a fact. and also when george bush was president joe biden actually voted for some of those things. and remember in 2006 the democrats took back congress and joe biden kept on spinning along with the rest of them. >> what about that, donna? you want to respond? the national debt has gone in the nearly four years of the obama administration from more than $10 trillion to now more than $16 trillion, an increase of $6 trillion. >> well, first of all, wolf, let me just say this. the two wars have cost us an enormous amount of money and the loss of our brave servicemen and women as well. so that added to the national deficit. and one other thing that we should talk about in terms of
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the national deficit, part of it is that we're not bringing in as much revenue as we should be bringing in to pay for all the things, the services and programs that the american people continue to desire. there's no question under this president that we've seen, you know, the most significant budget cuts also in the history of country. discretionary spending is at its lowest in 60 years. taxes are also at their lowest. but the one thing that the democrats have not done, we haven't walked away from the table. we haven't pointed fingers and said it's their fault. we're all in this together. it's time republicans roll up their sleeves and come to the table so we can fix this problem and solve our many other great challenges before the end of the year and the american people can get back to work. that's what they desire us to do. >> i think both of these presidential candidates are gearing up for their one presidential debate in october as well. i'm looking forward to that like all of you are as well. standby. don't go away. we have more to discuss. mitt romney and paul ryan, they did team up together in ohio today. and i want to get our
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we're back with our cnn political contributor, democratic strategist donna brazile, and erick erickson chief political editor of redstate,.com. it was interesting when mitt romney spoke at the clinton global initiative today, erick,
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he made it clear he wants some changes, some reforms in u.s. foreign aid. but he supports foreign aid. listen to what he said. >> for american foreign aid to become more effective it's got to embrace the principles that you see in these global initiatives. the power of partnerships, access to the transformative nature of free enterprise, and the leverage of the abundant resources that can come from the private sector. >> i listened closely to romney's speech. he's made it clear to me he's an internationalist. he's not an isolationist. john mccain, for example, the other day was here in "the situation room" complaining about senator rand paul of kentucky calling him isolationist because he wants to end u.s. government foreign aid. romney made it clear he supports the establishment in going forward with a better more improved foreign aid but supports government foreign aid. what do you make of that? >> well, i think he's stating what has been republican policy for a long time.
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ronald reagan supported foreign aid, george h.w. bush and george w. bush also understood. i grew up in dubai, i understand. what i do disagree with and what the governor will also disagree with is we do need to probably stop funding countries that clearly aren't working in our interests. >> give me a name or two. >> well, i think if you look at the present course being run in egypt or even in pakistan, i think we need to put some restrictions on our dollars being spent there. >> because the u.s. does give more than $1 billion a year to each of these countries, almost $2 billion to pakistan. donna, is that money well spent or money thrown away? >> no. i think it's important we do leverage our foreign dollars, whether we're giving them $1 billion or less than that. it's an important leverage to use in our diplomatic tool box. but at a time when most americans are feeling the pressure of this recession or still feeling the pressure, there's no question that they're going to ask our leaders not to
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spend so much. but as you all know, wolf, and erick, it's less than 2% of our federal budget. i thought mitt romney gave a very good, smart speech. he's evolved a lot since the republican primary. but it's important when it comes to foreign aid, international relations, we be on the same -- i think both parties should be on the same page because we're living in some difficult days. >> erick, you saw mitt romney leave new york, fly right out to the battleground state of ohio out on the campaign stump out there with paul ryan. is he a better candidate out there when he's together with paul ryan or when they're individually campaigning? >> oh, i think that's the biggest problem mitt romney has on the trail right now is that he's much better with paul ryan. he feeds off ryan's energy. i actually think paul ryan does a very good job on the trail by himself. mitt romney's improved on the trail being with paul ryan and that's a problem. he's got to skirt off to a bunch of fundraisers as well. one of the things it does help them with particularly in a place like ohio is they get a lot more free advertising, free
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coverage from the media they don't have to spend when they're together on the campaign trail. >> erick erickson and donna brazi brazile, thanks very much. much more coming in here in "the situation room" including building better schools. both presidential candidates want to do it but have very different ideas about how it should be done. we're going inside their education plans. ♪ chirping beeping camera ahhhh drill sound chirping electric shaver shaking remote tapping sound shaking drill chirping tapping shaking remote wouldn't it be great to have one less battery to worry about? car honking irping the 2012 sonata hybrid. the only hybrid with a lifetime hybrid battery warranty. from hyundai.
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and the candidate's speech is in pieces all over the district. the writer's desktop and the coordinator's phone are working on a joke with local color. the secure cloud just received a revised intro from the strategist's tablet. and while i make my way into the venue, the candidate will be rehearsing off of his phone. [ candidate ] and thanks to every young face i see out there. [ woman ] his phone is one of his biggest supporters. [ female announcer ] with cisco at the center... working together has never worked so well. stay top of mind with customers? from deals that bring them in with an offer... to social media promotions that turn fans into customers...
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they see the same problems, but like on so many other issues, president obama and mitt romney sharply disagree on how to improve america's education system. we asked cnn's lisa sylvester to go in-depth on what each of these two men wants to do. and you've taken a close look, lisa. >> that's right, wolf.
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president obama and governor romney do share some things in common when it comes to education. both men, for example, support charter schools. there are a few major differences between the two candidates. and that could have a direct impact on students and their parents. at this elementary school in potomac, maryland, first graders are learning their math language in chinese, part of a language emersion program. but at the same time other schools across the country from washington, d.c. to texas are so strapped they've been forced to consider letting go of librarians, cutting bus routes and eliminating field trips. it's something parents all know where you live can determine the quality of your child's education. but the nation's education system as a whole is lagging when compared to other developed countries. the u.s. ranks 14th in reading, 17th in science and 25th in math. how to fix the education system was front and center in chicago
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this month as teachers walked off the job over issues of longer school days, merit pay and teacher evaluations. education reform is an issue in the presidential campaign. president obama and his republican challenger, mitt romney, both favor expanding charter schools, support standardized tests and want more accountability from teachers and principals. but the two men have significant disagreements. >> i think some of the main differences between governor romney and president obama when it comes to education come in the area of school choice. governor romney sees a really robust rule for school choice and school improvement whereas president obama like a lot of democrats has been skeptical of vouchers. >> reporter: romney supports taking federal dollars for educating special needs and low income families, known as title i funds and giving them directly to parents in the form of vouchers. although romney avoids using that word. >> for the first time in history federal education funds will be
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linked to the student so that parents can send their child to any public or charter school of their choice. >> reporter: the obama administration is staunchly opposed. why not expand vouchers? why not give parents more choices? >> the goal can't be to remove one child from the system and let the other 500 drown. we have to make every single school a great, great school. i think all of our time and energy and resources should go to making public schools schools of choice. >> reporter: education secretary duncan is using federal dollars as an incentive for states to raise academic standards in a program called race to the top he wants school districts to adopt a common set of standards. so what a child learns in topeka, kansas, is the same in toledo, ohio. the obama administration has given states billions in stimulus dollars to reform schools. that brings us to another difference between obama and romney. funding. here's how duncan views it. >> when you think of education as an investment, they look at education as an expense.
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and congressman ryan's budget which governor romney supports would see 200,000 less programs go to head start programs, huge cutbacks in programs for children with special needs. >> reporter: it's unclear with romney would follow through on the cuts proposed by his running mate. we reached out to the romney campaign, but did not make anyone available for comment. groups say spending needs to be reigned in. >> we've seen this tremendous increase in spending and yet we have nothing to show for it in terms of results. and i think it really does come back to the idea that it's not about more spending, it's about empowering parents with control over how we spend those dollars. >> reporter: a no child left behind, both candidates say the law needs to be fixed. romney emphasizes transparency and requiring that states release public report cards on all schools. the obama administration has granted waivers to 33 states and the district of columbia to
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develop new standards and ways to measure progress. both men agree the nation can't afford to fail its students. now, no child left behind is long overdue for re-authorization in congress. democrats and republicans though both have issues with the law. but they can't agree on what should be the proper fix. so it's been caught up in gridlock. in the meantime, we've seen the obama administration going around congress by giving these states their waivers and therefore more flexibility, wolf. >> and a lot of debate over whether or not these teachers spend way too much time just getting these kids ready for standardsized tests as opposed to teaching them math and reading and science and whatever. >> that's a big issue. if you've been following education, you hear teachers complaining about this, you hear parents complaining about this. the so-called teaching to the test. but actually both romney and obama they both support standardized tests and having some measures, some accountability. but the question is how do you keep and maintain that accountability but still have where you're not spending all
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your classroom and instruction time merely practicing and rehearsing for the test. >> it's a great subject. glad you're investigating, thanks very much. both sides all of a sudden are praising the other man's debating skills. our own john berman's very suspicious about what's going on. and what it means for me. woman 2: i'm tired of the negative ads and political spin. that won't help me decide. man 2: i earned my medicare and social security. and i deserve some answers. anncr: where do the candidates stand on issues that... affect seniors today and in the future? find out with the aarp voters' guide at earnedasay.org ♪ [ male announcer ] how do you engineer
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...and we inspected his brakes for free. -free is good. -free is very good. [ male announcer ] now get 50% off brake pads and shoes at meineke. here's a look at this hour's hot shots in south korea. honor guards carry flags for armed forces day. in vietnam customers look at lanterns in a toy market. in france yacht teams compete during the 34th edition of royal
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ri ga ta. a mother tiger watches over her cubs at a cage in a zoo. hot shots, pictures in from around the world. the first presidential debate is one week from tomorrow night which means both campaigns have just over a week to convince us it will be a miracle if their man wins. cnn's john berman is following the race to lower expectations. john. >> you know, wolf, we always complain about all the negative attacks in campaigns, but it turns out there's nothing more devious, nothing more cynical than when these guys are actually nice to each other. you know, if you want something to hate about politics, it's this, kindness. the obama campaign has spent months and millions trying to convince voters that mitt romney is unethical. >> he won't release his tax returns before 2010. >> unprepared. >> my opponent and his running mate are new to foreign policy. >> unattached to reality. >> my thinking is maybe you
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haven't gotten around a lot. >> with all those alleged problems, surely he has no chance of prevailing against president obama in the debates, right? well, not according to the obama campaign. >> mitt romney i think has an advantage because he's been through 20 of these debates in the primaries over the last year. >> reporter: the romney team says president obama is weak on foreign policy. >> what we do not see is steady consistent american leadership. >> reporter: weak on the economy. >> he's over his head. and he's swimming in the wrong direction. >> reporter: and just plain weak overall. >> the president today threw in the white flag of surrender again. >> reporter: with all those weaknesses, surely he would be easy to beat in a debate, right? oh, no. not according to mitt romney. >> he's the president of the united states. he's a very effective speaker. >> reporter: so follow this, team obama suggests romney is a sure thing to win the debates.
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team romney says it's obama. it's like that famous bizarre world episode of "seinfeld". >> up is down, down is up. says hello when he leaves, good-bye when he arrives. >> reporter: a cynical farce. each side trying to set the expectations so high for the opponent they can't possibly be met. so low for the home team merely speaking in a complete sentence would be a victory. it is a long held tradition. an advisor to george w. bush once called john kerry the best debater since cicero, but it is a troubling tradition no matter what they say about each other. >> having been through this much more recently than president obama, i think he starts with an advantage. >> reporter: elections are not graded on curves. not even bizarre elections. so here's still more proof this whole thing is a farce. here's my guarantee. no matter what they're saying
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now about who will win, after the debates are over both sides will claim victory no matter what. wolf. >> john berman, thank you. and you're in "the situation room." happening now, president obama gives his speech to world leaders, but he's not giving them any face time. so what's behind the lack of meetings over at the united nations on this day? former president bill clinton warns he doesn't trust iran's leader. he tells us why in a special cnn interview. and after a blown call decides a game, players and fans are saying they've had enough of the nfl's replacement referees. now even the president of the united states is weighing in. we want to welcome our viewers in the united states and around the world. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." president obama gave a major speech today before an international audience. world leaders gathered at the united nations and millions of
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viewers around the world were watching. comes exactly six weeks before the november election. and that means president obama's words are also aimed at domestic viewers. in other words, american voters. cnn's foreign affairs correspondent, jill dougherty, is over in new york watching all of this unfold. jill, update our viewers on what happened. >> reporter: well, wolf, you know president obama wasn't here in new york very long. the highlight of his u.n. appearance, that speech. or maybe you could call it two speeches. in his speech to the united nations president barack obama faced two audiences, citizens of the world some of them skeptical muslims. and his own fellow american who is soon will decide whether or not to keep him in office. >> i would like to begin today by telling you about an american named chris stevens. >> reporter: chris stevens u.s. ambassador to libya killed two weeks ago in an attack in benghazi.
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obama's message to americans end the world we're in this together. >> the attacks of the last two weeks are not simply an assault on america, they're also an assault on the very ideals upon which the united nations was founded. >> reporter: the president one white house official tells cnn put a lot of personal time and effort into crafting and editing the speech. and when he spoke of the video that sparked violent demonstrations in libya and other muslim countries, he had a delicate balancing act between his international audience. >> a crude and disgusting video sparked outrage throughout the muslim world. >> reporter: and his domestic audience. >> there's no speech that justifies mindless violence. [ applause ] there are no words that excuse the killing of innocence.
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there's no video that justifies an attack on an embassy. >> reporter: not all countries he admitted agree on protecting freedom of speech. >> i know there's some who ask why don't we just ban such a video. the answer is enshrined in our laws. our constitution protects the right to practice free speech. >> reporter: then a line lifted right out of the presidential campaign. >> i accept that people are going to call me awful things every day. and i will always defend their right to do so. >> reporter: addressing the united nations, an institution some republicans criticize, mr. obama couldn't afford any hint of weakness. >> understand america will never retreat from the world. we will bring justice to those who harm our citizens and our friends and we will stand with our allies. >> reporter: but he showed some tough love to mideast protesters too. >> burning an american flag does nothing to provide a child an
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education. smashing apart a restaurant does not fill an empty stomach. attacking an embassy won't create a single job. >> and that's the message other u.s. officials are trying to get across too. including secretary of state hillary clinton. but freedom of speech sometimes can go too far. but controlling speech isn't the answer either. wolf. >> all right, jill, thanks very much. kate bolduan is here. she's watching what's going on as well. >> as well. and domestic news we're also talking a lot of foreign policy, but a big day also in the fight for the balance of power in the senate. since his shocking comments about women and rape, many key republicans have kept congressman todd akin at arms length urging him to quit his u.s. senate run in missouri. today was the last chance really for him to do so. cnn's senior congressional correspondent dana bash has been following this. what's the latest?
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>> he's not going anywhere. he's staying in the race. he's hoping to prove the gop establishment wrong and win the robust evangelical community. they don't think it's going to happen. thinking about retaking the senate majority that seemed not to far from reach aman ago. >> reporter: instead of giving in to fellow republicans desperate for him to drop out, a defiant todd akin launched a campaign bus tour. >> i have one purpose going into november. and that's replacing claire mccaskill. >> reporter: the reality is senior gop sources tell cnn republicans gave up on pushing akin out some time ago after he refused to bow to intense pressure last month from top republicans. >> the best thing for todd to do for his own campaign and for the country is not to run. >> reporter: all of this by akin's infamous at the same time about women and rape.
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>> if it's a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down. >> reporter: now party leaders who counted on beating missouri's endangered democratic senator claire mccaskill, have all but given up. they won't give akin a dime. but he can still have support from some high-profile conservatives like newt gingrich who this week chastised the gop establishment for abandoning akin. >> if saying something dumb would disqualify you, joe biden wouldn't be vice president. >> reporter: national gop strategists say mccaskill who sees akin as beatable has intentionally withheld her attacks on akin until the deadline passes to drop out. she's limiting to touting her own moderate credentials. republican strategists who've written off missouri admit it has put gop chances for seizing the senate majority at major
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risk. take a look at the math to help explain why. republicans currently hold 47 out of 100 senate seats. to win outright control of the senate, republicans must pick up four seats that are currently held by democrats assuming they lose no seats currently held by republicans. now to the map. the most likely place for a gop win is the open democratic seat in nebraska. other states in the tossup column republican strategists say they're hoping to snatch, north dakota, wisconsin, montana, connecticut, virginia and ohio. what makes the gop road to the senate majority even tougher is that polls show republicans do risk losing two of their own seats. scott brown's in massachusetts. and the one left open in maine by retiring u.s. senator olympia snowe. now, the key according to republican strategists i talked to is not losing those republican seats. but they also say that that is going to be very difficult. and if they don't keep those
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republican seats, they really are going to have to run the board on the tossup seats now held by democrats. and they say that is going to be a big, big challenge. >> and also a big, big challenge is something a lot of people are talking about is romney and maybe his trouble in some of these key states and how that could potentially hurt down ballot. what are you hearing? >> republican sfrat strategists who i talk to who are in charge of taking control of the senate say it is a problem. especially when you look at wisconsin, virginia and even ohio where mitt romney is simply not doing as well on the presidential level. they think it is really dragging down their candidates. in the words of one source i talked to, it is pulling them down and making them fall behind. ironically it is missouri of all the battleground states on the presidential level, romney's actually doing the best. it's not much of a contest there on a presidential level. l irony of all ironies is if there is a correlation between the presidential ticket and senate ticket, mitt romney could help todd akin, the guy he and
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his running mate try to get out of the race. >> this must make mitch mcconnell crazy. >> oh, i can't even imagine. thanks very much. former president bill clinton is sounding off on one of the key international issues of this election campaign. what to do about iran and the claim by iranian leaders that they're not pursuing a nuclear weapon. he spoke with cnn's piers morgan today. listen to this. >> what they're really saying is in spite of the fact that we threatened israel, demonized the united states, we do all this stuff, we want you to trust us. in spite of the fact that we won't cooperate with the international regime set up to avoid an arms race in the middle east and set up to avoid nuclear proliferation, we want you to trust us. so they don't have a tenable position. they don't have a tenable position. >> do you trust ahmadinejad? >> not on this i don't.
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>> why should america be allowed nuclear weapons? why should israel who've never admitted they have them, why should they be permitted to have them? why should many countries be allowed nuclear weapons and not iran? >> well then why isn't he going for some bigger nonproliferation initiative? instead of acting like what he really wants is a nuclear bomb because that will help to get everybody to get rid of their nuclear weapons. no serious person believes that. >> piers is joining us now from new york. another good interview, piers. looking forward to the full interview later tonight. but give us your sense right now, is there any daylight that you discern between let's say president obama and bill clinton when it comes to dealing with iran and the potential threat from that country? >> he was very careful not to step on the shoes of his wife, hillary. he's obviously going to make some of these big decisions. the key decision i guess for america and barack obama and i put this to president clinton but he wouldn't respond directly because of the reason i just
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said is what happens if israel decides to do some kind of preemptive strike against iran because they just don't believe ahmadinejad and believe he's working to build a nuclear weapon. will israel do that? and how does america respond? listening to the language both sides are using; you've got to think we could be confronting this issue within the next fi months. >> certainly could be. you heard netanyahu, the prime minister of israel say the other day he thought there was a six or seven-month window right now before that clock is really finished ticking, if you will. so these next six or seven months could be critical indeed. on a much lighter note, when i say lighter to those of us who are american football fans, piers, it's not light at all. you did get around to speaking with president clinton also about the nfl and the so-called replacement refs. and it was an awful, awful call, as you know last night. >> terrible call. i mean, just seemed to me all these big guys jumped up and all grabbed the bull and no one
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could work out what was going on. and blame the refs, poor guys. but i understand that for all nfl fans in america a hugely contentious issue. i did put this to the president along with another big sporting event coming up of course the rider cup where he took the america's camp, i took the european camp and we took a bet. watch this clip. >> final question, mr. president, very quickly. two huge talking points detected. one is the seattle seahawks and the hail mary pass, did you think that that was a touchdown? and if it wasn't, should we get these referees back? and the second thing i keep hearing is and i don't understand this, but confidence amongst the americans that you're going to win the rider cup. as a european, do you fancy a bet? >> well, on the football game, no, i did not think it was a touchdown. i thought the pass was
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intercepted. i thought the defender hit the ground before there was joint possession. and, yes, it means that we need to get the strike over and get more experienced people in there. and, yes, i'll make a bet with you on the rider cup. >> about that wolf, he responded to the nfl scandal with even more seriousness and intensity than he discussed the proliferation of nuclear weapons in the world. which just goes to show how serious this touchdown is. >> it's very serious. you're a great sports fan. i'm a great sports fan. and he's a great sports fan. i can testify personally, piers, and you'll identify with this, i was with him in south africa at the usa-ghana for the world cup soccer games. and he was watching that. he takes it very, very seriously. unfortunately, the usa lost to ghana in that particular game. but he's a great sports fan. >> the other thing, wolf, i
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thought you would find really fascinating because i know you're a stickler for this kind of thing and history, was when i got round to the 22nd amendment, which of course rules him out from running for president again, and he did indicate in the interview that he can see a time coming when that is changed. so that somebody can do two terms, maybe have a break and come back later. which would of course be what many people would love to see happen with bill clinton. here's the rub, he can actually technically because of his irish heritage run to be president of ireland. or if he prefers because he's from arkansas, which is part of the louisiana purchase, any person anywhere in the world who was born in the place that was ever part of the french empire can if they move to france for six months and speak french run for president in france. bill clinton could be the french president within the next five years. >> yeah. he would do well in france and in ireland. no doubt about that. i think much more realistically, piers, his wife, hillary clinton
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2016, did he give you a hint? >> no more than he's given anybody else. i think the reality is i would be stunned if hillary clinton doesn't run. and you've got to say given the impact that we have seen on barack obama's poll fortunes since bill clinton stood up at the democratic convention and made that incredibly powerful uplifting positive speech, really articulating for barack obama the best defense i've heard of why he should be re-elected. you've got to say if he brings the same charisma and political smarts that he has to a campaign by his wife, hillary, then i think you could see the first woman president that america's ever had. what a moment that would be. >> i thought she was going to run in 2016 for a long time myself, piers, good as usual. bill clinton made the case for president obama. he's tackled the world's biggest problems. tonight you'll hear the and watch the full interview with piers morgan. that airs piers morgan tonight 9:00 p.m. eastern only here on cnn. recommend you watch it.
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president obama gives a speech to world leaders, but he's not giving them any meetings. so what's behind the lack of face time? busier highways. on on once empty fields. everyday you see all the ways all of us at us bank are helping grow our economy. lending more so companies and communities can expand, grow stronger and get back to work. everyday you see all of us serving you, around the country, around the corner. us bank. ♪ [ male announcer ] how do you engineer a true automotive breakthrough? ♪ you give it bold new styling, unsurpassed luxury and nearly 1,000 improvements. introducing the redesigned 2013 glk. see your authorized mercedes-benz dealer for exceptional offers through mercedes-benz
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our own jim acosta has interviewed mitt romney, the republican presidential nominee. the full interview will air momentarily here in "the situation room." stand by for that. jim acosta interviews mitt romney. president obama may have addressed world leaders at the united nations today, but in a stunning departure, he's not meeting with any of those dozens upon dozens of world leaders. let's bring in brianna keilar. brianna, this is pretty extraordinary to go to a general assembly and not meet with world leaders one-on-one for substantiative get togethers, what's going on here? >> reporter: i think the key is substantiative get togethers. they had what they're calling courtesy call meetings with a couple leaders. the head of the u.n. and the
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head of the general assembly and stopped by a meeting the president of yemen was having with his top counterterrorism advisor. but that's right, no official meetings, what we call bilateral meetings, these one-on-ones. to say just how unusual this is, just look to his predecessors and what they did at the u.n. as they campaigned for re-election. 1996, the last time a democratic incumbent was fighting to stay in the white house. violence in the middle east had hit a fever pitch, and bill clinton took a quick break from campaigning fo head to the u.n. general assembly in new york. there he met with the prime minister of japan, the prince of saudi arabia and the foreign minister of russia. then it was right back on the campaign trail to rally voters in new jersey. eight years later george w. bush was facing a re-election battle. the wars in iraq and afghanistan were in full swing and public sentiment was souring. but he kept a full schedule at the u.n. meeting with leaders of japan, india, iraq, afghanistan and pakistan.
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>> i want to welcome prime minister netanyahu both to the united states. >> reporter: and one year ago in new york president obama kept very busy meeting with israeli prime minister netanyahu, president karzai of afghanistan and prime minister of turkey. those were just some of his eleven meetings with world leaders last september. of course that wasn't an election year. and president obama was flying high on foreign policy successes. osama bin laden had been killed months before. and the demonstrations of the arab spring brought hope that democracy was blossoming in the middle east. so why no official meetings with world leaders? well, wolf, the white house press secretary jay carney says that the president has had extensive consultations with world leaders. and so really sort of pointing to the fact that there is this open dialogue. but obviously when you look at this you know that part of this is election year risk management. that these meetings between
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leaders can sometimes create political liabilities. the president and his campaign are trying to minimize that especially as republicans like mitt romney are hitting him on foreign policy, wolf. >> they can also make him look even more presidential if you will by having one-on-one meetings with world leaders. there could be a possible spin-off as i think there was with george bush in 2004 and bill clinton in '96. that's a subject for debate. brian na, thanks very much. >> great report. a lot of great context. i want to remind our viewers that we are with mitt romney on the campaign trail. we'll hear from him in a one-on-one interview that is still ahead. you do not want to miss that. also coming up, apple replaced google maps with its own app leaving users frustrated. what apple's chairman has to say about the move. i was spotting, but i had already gone through menopause. these symptoms may be nothing... but they could be early warning signs of a gynecologic cancer, such as cervical, ovarian, or uterine cancer. feeling bloated for no reason.
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kate's back with more of the day's top stories. violence in turkey mounting right now. what's going on? >> the targeted attack on a military vehicle in southeastern turkey left at least four people dead. you're seeing some pictures right there. officials say at least three turkish soldiers and a passerby were killed in a high lly kurdi area. the fighting has escalated raising casualties to a level not seen in more than a decade. some good news back here at home though, home prices showed a rebound this month to a level not seen since 2003. analysts say record low mortgage rates and a smaller supply have helped to buoy prices and investors used low mortgage rates to buy up foreclosures. in contrast fed official's comments that the central bank's latest round of stimulus measures likely would not help growth were followed by the dow, the nasdaq and s&p all dropping.
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and you should have kept our maps is apparently the word from google after apple's iphone 5 decided to discontinue the map program. if you have the iphone, then you know what i'm talking about. despite healthy sales of apple's newest phone, major criticism from users and google have swarmed the new map app. say that 12 times fast. >> i can't. mitt romney's campaigning in a key battleground state. we're about to hear from him. his one-on-one interview with jim acosta, that's coming up. [ laughing ] [ laughing ] [ laughing ] [ laughing ] ♪ boring. boring.
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get this, with only seconds left in the game there's a long pass into the end zone and two referees make two different calls. the wrong call unfortunately decided last night's national football league game. i was heartbroken. >> heartbroken. and everyone has been talking about it. and everyone seems to have had enough of the replacement refs when the league locked out their officials. brian todd has been looking into this. everyone from the president on down has been talking about the catch and calls. >> absolutely. there's a huge cry out today. millions tweeting and facebooking. it's gone viral after something many feared might happen this season actually did happen. after three weeks of controversy and complaints, the nfl's replacement referees literally decide the outcome of at least one game. on a desperation pass into the end zone, m.d. jennings of the
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green bay packers appears to catch the ball for an interception, but the refs rule golden tate also has possession. by rule the tie goes to the offensive player, tate. after a replay review. >> referee: the call on the field stands, touchdown. >> seahawks win. packers fume. >> don't ask me a question about the officials, all right? we'll just cut to the chase right there. i never seen anything like that in all my years in football. >> just look at the replay. and then the fact that it was reviewed. it was awful. that's all i'm going to say about it. >> tame compared to the tweets that went viral. from packers offensive guard t.j. lang, got -- by the refs, embarrassing. thanks, nfrl. president obama tweeted nfl fans on both sides of the aisle hope the refs lockout ends soon. this after a disputed field goal gave the baltimore raven a one-point win over the patriots and a series of botched calls and misapplied rules that have driven coaches, players and fans
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crazy. all this because of a labor dispute between the nfl and its regular referees that began when the league locked out the refs in june. the referees want more money, asking for more than the nfl's offer to increase their average salaries from $149,000 a year to $189,000. compare that to the median nfl player's salary, $770,000 a year. it's important to remember the average nfl playing career is only three and a half years. and most of the refs have other careers. so these aren't full-time jobs for them. the nfl wants to make the refs full-time and to add more refs so the average referee would make less money. the league also wants to move them from a pension system to a 401(k). but in the context of a business that brings in $9.5 billion a year, it seems relatively solvable. red cashin, an nfl referee for 25 years through two super bowls
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doesn't blame the replacement refs. what were they really not ready for at this level of the game? >> well, it's a combination of speed of things that happen. these folks are not used to these million-dollar athletes. they're not used to 70,000, or 80,000 people in the fans. or plays that happen with quickness and severity and the talent that these guys have. >> red says it takes about two years to get used to that speed to see the game in slower motion. the nfl did issue a statement today on the seahawks game saying it supports the decision not to overturn the on-field ruling but a key point of that also as the league also said there should have been a penalty for offensive pass interference which would have ended the game in green bay's favor. that was a botch too at the end. >> what also makes me crazy, obviously bad officiating is bad enough, but i'm worried about
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the safety of these nfl players. a lot of folks are as well. when you have bad refs, they may be trying their best, but they're not ready for prime time. and could really endanger some of these players. >> the nfl association sent a letter to the nfl late last week saying "we believe there's substantial evidence that you have failed in your obligation to provide a safe and working environment as possible." the nfl doesn't respond to that. they say consistently they're always looking out for players safety. but you have to say in the same breath that while this is going on, the players are also trying to get away with as much as they can. you watch these games, they're taking cheap shots. >> because you can blame it on the ref. >> that's right. like a substitute teacher being there. >> and they got to end it right away. thanks very much. up next, mitt romney goes one-on-one with cnn, the interview that's coming up. ♪
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this is jim acosta reporting from vandalia, ohio, where we just wrapped up an interview with gop nominee mitt romney. we talked about why he's trailing in this battleground state and also the subject of this foreign policy and of course those refs. that's coming up after the break here on "the situation room" with wolf blitzer. pills. afternoon's overhaul starts with more pain. more pills. triple checking hydraulics. the evening brings more pain. so, back to more pills. almost done, when... hang on. stan's doctor recommended aleve. it can keep pain away all day with fewer pills than tylenol. this is rudy. who switched to aleve. and two pills for a day free of pain. ♪ and get the all day pain relief of aleve in liquid gels.
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our national political correspondent jim acosta just spoke one-on-one with mitt romney in ohio.
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>> reporter: governor mitt romney, thank you for joining us. i appreciate it. >> sure. >> i want to talk about the poll shows you trailing by eight points here in ohio. this is obviously a critical battleground state. you said recently you've spent just as much time at fundraisers as you have in swing states since the convention. looking back, was that a tactical error, do you think? >> part of the campaign is to go out and meet people across the country and also make money so you can have ads on tv. we stay busy. there's no time off. we're taking our message to the people of ohio and across the country. and polls go up and down. but frankly you're going to see the support i need to become president on election day. people recognize that we don't want a government getting larger and larger and more intrusive in our lives. and we have a question about what course america's going to take. i represent one that will create more jobs and more take home pay. the president represents more the same. >> it seems your main message has been about the economy. but that message is not resonating at least not here in ohio. i wonder how much of that is
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self-inflicted. what would you say to americans out there who wonder if that videotape that came out last week is the real mitt romney? >> i'm overwhelmingly committed to helping every american. that's what this campaign is about. from the very beginning of my campaign i spoke about the need to help get people out of poverty, the need to get the 23 million people that don't have good jobs, struggling to find work, to help those people get good jobs. my whole campaign is about getting the economy going. people at the top are doing fine. they'll probably do fine whether barack obama re-elected or not. it's the people in the middle and at the bottom that are struggling in the obama economy. that's why i'm running, to help them. >> and you criticized the president for referring to recent events in the middle east as bumps in the road and talked about the death of ambassador stevens and basically said that these aren't bumps in the road, these are human lives. do you think the president intended to refer to ambassador stevens' death as a bump in the road? >> well, he was asked about the developments in the middle east. and he said the developments in the middle east are bumps in the road. and those developments include
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20,000 people being killed in syria, a muslim brotherhood president of egypt, iran on the cusp of becoming a nuclear power. and of course the assassination of our ambassador in libya. i'm not sure whether any of those qualifies as a bump in the road. they certainly don't in my view. >> do you think the president meant to say that? >> well, he was asked about the developments in the middle east. i'm not sure which developments in the middle east he would consider bumps in the road. i consider the developments in the middle east a very troubling development, a very troubling course. i believe also the white house's failure to acknowledge that the assassination of our ambassador was a terrorist attack, a terrorist event suggests that they're trying to paper over the seriousness of the -- of what's happening in the middle east. >> the president said at the united nations that the united nations u united states will do what we must to stop iran from ie quiring a nuclear weapon. if you'd been at the united nations, what would have been your message to the iranians? >> we've heard the president speak 2009, 2010, 2012 each time
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showing his commitment from keeping iran from going nuclear and iran gets closer and closer every year to having nuclear capability. it's very clear his pollty u sis with iran have not dissuaded them from becoming nuclear in one iota. so the president is not effective in being able to take them on a different course. i would be. >> what would be your message to the iranians? >> words are words. you need to show the kind of action that shows to them we're serious about what we're saying. those kinds of actions and should have included from the very beginning of this administration, crippling sanctions. indicting ahmadinejad for insight for genocide. treat the diplomats the way we treated the diplomats under south after rrica under aparthe >> just the other day you said the president has been trying to fool people with his ads and speeches about your record.
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but fact checkers have also taken issue with your ads. haven't you also played fast and loose with the facts from time to time? >> we've been absolutely spot-on. and any time there's anything that's been a miss, we correct it or remove it. the president on the other hand -- >> even the welfare ad? >> absolutely. look, it's been shown time and again that the president's effort to take work requirement out of welfare is a calculated move. the same thing he did with regards to food stamps. he took work out of welfare -- excuse me, work out of the food stamps requirement. what was the result? the study shows twice as many people went from having food stamps to those that are able-bodied as a result of that change. taking work requirements -- >> calls it pants on fire "the washington post" gives it -- they're wrong? is that what you're say sng. >> you look at the facts. did he take the work requirement out of welfare? >> i think what the obama administration has said, no, they're trying to give governors the flexibility to increase the amount of work that goes into
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receiving welfare benefits. you're saying you don't buy that. >> no, no. you always have the capacity to add work. there's never been a requirement that you can't have more work. the requirement that they're waiving is saying people don't have to work to get welfare. that's the change they proposed. i disagree with that direction. i think the president's also i disagree with the direction on food stamps. taking work requirements out of government assistance is in my opinion a very bad course to take and creates a culture of dependency. we help people who need help. we want to help people that need help. but the idea of removing work requirements i think is a mistake. >> african-americans have a tremendous sense of pride that there's the first african-american president in the white house. if you were to somehow beat the first african-american president, what would you say to the black community to assure them that you would be their president also? >> i will be the president of all the people of america. you don't get into a race like
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this with myself and my family and do the kind of work and commitment that we've put forward without the passion to help all of america. as a people who really need the help right now are the people in the middle class. people who fallen into poverty. i know how to get them help. the president doesn't. >> what would you do about those referees in the nfl? would you order them back to work? >> i would sure like to see some experienced referees with nfl experience come back out on the nfl playing fields. >> paul ryan called those refs out today. are you glad he did that? >> it's just fine. paul was very angry that the green bay packers he believes won and the referees took it away from them. >> all right. very good. thanks very much for your time. we appreciate it. >> thank you. >> and, wolf, mitt romney will be waking up here tomorrow morning in the state of ohio to travel across this battleground state with a lot of ground to catch up. if you look at the latest polls here in ohio.
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after that he'll head off to the battleground state of virginia. and preparing for the first debate with the president. >> jim acosta, good work as usual. let's turn to a key democratic lawmaker dick durban from illinois. senator, thanks very much in. quickly, your reaction. i haven't heard mitt romney say in the past that ahmadinejad should be charged with espousing genocide, which in effect he wouldn't even be allowed to come to the united nations. what do you make of that? >> well, governor romney ignores the obvious. under president obama, we have established the strongest international coalition against iran's development of nuclear weapon in history. we have imposed the crippling sanction he's speaking of, and we have invested in an armed domed defense system to make certain that both iran and israel know that we're going to do everything in our power to stop the iranians from developing a nuclear bomb.
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it is easier for governor romney to come up with these ideas, but president obama has the record. he's made this a clear part of our american foreign policy. there should be no doubt in the mind of anyone, including the iranians. >> but do you agree with romney that ahmadinejad should be charged with espousing genocide, which i assume refers to his suggestions in the past that israel should be wiped off the face of the map? >> well, i'd like to hear the particulars, of where governor romney's going. he's trying to think of something that we could do that might give him a headline here. but the bottom line, the president has been working behind the scenes, decisively, with strength, with our allies, creating the largest global coalition against the iranian development of a nuclear bomb that we have seen and enforcing sanctions that are working. >> and senator durbin, you also heard in jim acosta's interview with mitt romney that the governor really doubled down on his harsh criticism of president obama and his bumps in the road remark that he has made recently. did the president mess up there
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when he referred to recent events in the middle east as bumps in the road? >> well, i think that if you take a look or listened to president obama's speech to the united nations' general assembly today, you would have seen the seriousness in his tone and in his message when it came to the killing of our ambassador and the violence in the street. the president made it clear that the americans believe, for the world, that we should be rewarding people with the values and courage of ambassador chris stevens and not those with the basic cowardice and ignorance of those who killed him. it was a very decisive statement. the president took it seriously, the night it was announced, and if you'll remember, governor romney was holding press conferences, trying to find some campaign advantage here. the president is taking this very seriously, from start to finish. what he said today at the general assembly in new york really spoke for the values of this country. we are telling the leaders around the world, join us in
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putting an end to the violence and extremism in the streets. >> so did the president misspeak then in reference to the bumps in the road comment? >> well, i think it is wrong for governor romney to suggest that the president was in any way minimizing the loss of life of our great ambassador. from the start, and even again today, he has said how seriously he has taken that, and he has appealed to the leaders throughout the middle east, with constant communications during this upheaval that they've got to step up and restore order in the streets and protect our embassies and the embassies of other nations. >> you're a very strong supporter of israel, was it a mistake not to invite the prime minister of israel for a meeting with the president? they're both in new york this week. >> it's ironic, when that criticism came up, the president had just spent one solid hour on telephone with netanyahu, discussing some of the developments and relationships between our two countries. it's unfortunate that their schedules did not mesh and they
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couldn't meet at the same time in new york, but it doesn't diminish in any way whatsoever our commitment to the security and future of israel and the strong commitment the president has made to the people of israel. the ongoing relationship between him and prime minister netanyahu will not be diminished in any way because they're not meeting in person. >> senator durbin, thanks very much for coming in. >> good to be with you. >> thank you. and talk about a kodak moment. why one boy's milestone was so camera worthy. we've worked hard to keep it. bp has paid over twenty-three billion dollars to help people and businesses who were affected, and to cover cleanup costs. today, the beaches and gulf are open for everyone to enjoy -- and many areas are reporting their best tourism seasons in years. we've shared what we've learned with governments and across the industry so we can all produce energy more safely. i want you to know, there's another commitment bp takes just as seriously: our commitment to america. bp supports nearly two-hundred-fifty thousand jobs
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>> reporter: how does a 12-year-old manage to get a country music star to give him his very first kiss ever? sign language from the front row. >> he says, "carrie, be my first kiss." what do you say? we make that happen. >> reporter: next thing you know, carrie underwood was holding chase carnick's home on stage at this louisville, kentucky, concert. >> she saw me and she winked at me. >> how old are you? >> 12. >> 12 years old. he's got the jump on me. i was 14 when i had my very first kiss. >> reporter: just between us, was this really the first time you kissed a girl? >> yes, this was my first kiss. >> reporter: but how? >> how we going to do this? >> lip to lip. >> reporter: chase cuts to the chase. this being his first kiss, chase needed a little instruction. >> okay, here we go.
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close your eyes. close your eyes. >> reporter: a first kiss never, ever to be forgotten, especially since it was captured on youtube from so many angles. well, what did you learn? >> i learned close my eyes and determination. >> reporter: he later exchanged tweeted with carrie underwood, #liptolip. his friends called him "the luckiest dude in the world," "so not fair that you got to kiss her, how was it?" >> it was so amazing, i can't describe. >> reporter: the words on his sign were outlined by his dad. they needed a fun distraction. right before memorial day, they got burned out of their house when lightning struck. now a spark of a different kind. carrie gave chase a taste few other men have had, let alone 12-year-old boys. >> i learned something else too.
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>> reporter: what's that? >> she wears cherry lip balm. >> reporter: carried away by underwood. and no matter how many country music awards she kisses, she'll never forget his first. are you never going to wash your lips again or brush your teethes? >> i'll brush my teeth, but not my lips. >> reporter: not after they've been brushed by hers. jeanne moos, cnn -- >> there you go, chase! >> reporter: -- new york. >> thanks very much. happening now, a speech to the world. president obama at the united nations goes in depth on the turmoil in the middle east. also, mitt romney talking aid, trade, and more, drilling down on foreign policy. we're going to hear what he's saying. and the news many homeowners have been waiting for years to hear. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room."
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a brief break from the verbal sparring of the white house race. president obama stepped back into the global spotlight in new york today, addressing the united nations' general assembly. he spoke at length about the turmoil in the middle east, touting diplomacy and coalition building as the solutions to the crisis in the region vexing his administration. cnn's chief white house correspondent jessica yellin is traveling with the president in new york. jessica, what did the president say? >> reporter: wolf, when the president spoke here, he had two major audiences. a global audience and a domestic audience. voters listening now to foreign policy issues with a new ear and a new eye after this violence in libya and the president addressing it all, just weeks out from the election. at the united nations, president obama used the world stage to declare -- >> the attacks on the civilians in pen gazi were attacks on
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america. there should be know doubt that we will be relentless in tracking down the killers and bringing them to justice. >> reporter: his most expansive comments on what he called the crisis in the middle east. he invoked the memory of one fallen american. >> we must reaffirm that our future will be determined by people like chris stevens and not by his killers. today, we must declare that this violence and intolerance has no place among our united nations. >> reporter: to the world, he offered a lesson in u.s. values. first, denouncing the inciting video. >> the crude and disgusting video sparked outrage throughout the muslim world. >> reporter: next, affirming america's embrace of all religions. >> we not only respect the freedom of religion, we have laws that protect individuals from being harmed because of how they look or what they believe. >> reporter: then a lesson in tolerance and the freedom of expression. >> like me, the majority of americans are christian, and yet we do not ban blasphemy against
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our most sacred beliefs. i accept that people are going to call me awful things every day. and i will always defend their right to do so. >> reporter: seeing an inflection point after the arab spring, the president called on the world's leaders the to champion the same values. >> there is no speech that justifies mindless violence. there are no words that excuse the killing of innocence. there's no video that justifies an attack on an embassy. >> reporter: and president obama resisted campaign season pressure to intensify his rhetoric against iran. instead, he reiterated in stark terms his commitment to diplomacy and consequences if that fails. >> reporter: a nuclear-armed iran is not a challenge that can be contained. it would threaten the elimination of israel. the united states will do what we must to prevent iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. >> reporter: after his remarks, he crossed town to the clinton global initiative, where he addressed an issue with potential appeal to evangelical
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and women voters, human sex trafficking. >> that's slavery. it is barbaric and it is evil. and it has no place in a civilized word. >> reporter: wolf, on other top foreign policy concerns, he addressed the crisis in syria. he mentioned the withdrawal of troops from iraq and the drawdown from afghanistan and the trouble between israel and the palestinians. but that was all. he essentially was checking the box on all those fronts. and no mention at all of china. in essence, wolf, this was a speech about the two crisis that have consumed foreign policy discussion during the u.s. campaign, the tension between israel and iran, and now this most recent crisis in libya. wolf? >> and with six weeks to go until the election, jessica, tomorrow, i take it, he's right back out there in the swing states, out on the campaign trail? >> reporter: that's right. he is hitting the campaign once again.
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he will be in the battleground states. this is campaign season for president obama, from here until election day, with of course the debates coming up. >> three presidential debates, one vice presidential debate. jessica, thanks. also in new york city, mitt romney speaking over at the clinton global initiative, just ahead of the president. romney focused on foreign policy as well, vowing he would link u.s. foreign aid to trade with help going to developing countries that remove barriers to investment and trade. he also discussed unrest in the middle east and said he would have a different approach than president obama. >> a lot of americans, include myself, are developing -- excuse me, are troubled by developments in the middle east. syria has witnessed the killing of tens of thousands of people. the president of egypt is a member of the muslim brotherhood. our ambassador to libya was assassinated in a terrorist attack. iran is moving toward nuclear weapons capability.
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we somehow feel that we're at the mercy of events, rather than shaping events. a year from now, i hope to return to this meeting as president, having made substantial progress towards achieving the reforms i've outlined. but i also hope to remind the world of the goodness and the bigness of the american heart. i'll never apologize for america. i believe that america has been one of the greatest forces for good the world has ever known. we can hold that knowledge in our hearts with humility and unwavering conviction. >> let's get more on what's going on with our chief national correspondent, john king, our chief political analyst, gloria borger. he keeps saying, his aides keep saying he, mitt romney, will never apologize for america. the accusation being that president obama has repeatedly, supposedly, apologized for america. >> and you hear this from lots of republicans. you heard it over the last year or so, that the president apologizes for america, that he doesn't believe in american exceptionalism. and it's no surprise to me, wolf, that we're hearing this
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now. look, there's a crisis in the middle east. the only poll numbers, in fact, which the president is going down, are in foreign policy, by sort of a handful of points. so this is a moment for mitt romney to take advantage of that, because in every other poll number, the president seems to be heading in the other direction, ie, going up. so he's trying to take advantage of that. and to tell people, you know what, things aren't going to well in the middle east. this is a president that hasn't been as strong as he says he's been, and wants to get some kind of advantage and some traction on that. >> and certainly, john, while he was addressing the world at the u.n. general assembly speech, if you listen closely, he was responding to some of that criticism from the romney campaign. >> no question. the president didn't break any new ground, but he used interesting and tough language when it comes to iran. governor romney has been saying he's undermining israel and throwing israel under the bus. the president said the iran nuclear program is something that cannot be contained. as you know as well as i do,
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president netanyahu doubts the president somewhat. the president has said all options are on the table, but the israeli government isn't sure the president will follow through. t the israelis will like those words there. that was the principle one. the bigger question, though, wolf, you covered the white house for a long time, i covered the white house for a long. for a lot of people, it's not just the republicans. a lot of people in the foreign policy community, even democrats, quietly wondering if the president's making a mistake. the new egyptian leadership there, the new libyan leadership is there. you have fires burning around the world if you will right now. he might be president for four more years. he's certainly going to be president for the next couple of months. a lot of people are say welcome is the campaign really that important that he can't spend some time eyeball to eyeball. >> the fact is, when george w. bush was seeking re-election in 2004, he went up six weeks before the election and met with a whole bunch of world leaders. and when bill clinton was seeking re-election, six weeks before the election he was at
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the u.n. general assembly meeting with a whole bunch of world leaders. >> this is a don't rock the boat strategy. i think there's a sense that no good can come of any controversy right now. and that if you have one bilateral meeting and only one bilateral meeting, you're going to get other people angry. if you have a host of bilaterals, there's more of an opportunity to get more people angry. so if you're in the obama campaign and you're looking at the next six weeks, you're saying, why do want to cause ourselves any problems? that's exactly what's behind this? >> he's going to go back on the campaign trail. florida and ohio. i want to show our viewers our poll of polls, the average number of the most recent polls in these two key battleground states. let's take a look at ohio first. likely voters' choice for president, you see it right there, john. 50% for president obama, 44% for romney. that's a nice lead for obama in the key battleground state of ohio. but if you take a look at florida, you see right now in our poll of polls, the average among the most recent polls in florida, 49% for obama, 45% for
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romney. the question to you, john, can romney win without winning ohio and florida? >> in a word, wolf, and i took a walk over here to show, in a word, the answer is no. you just mentioned, ohio and florida. states the president carried four years ago, states governor romney very much needs to win this time. let's go to the electoral map to show you just why. 237 electoral votes, strong or leaning the president's way. 191 for governor romney, strong or leaning. you see these are the toss-up states, the golden states. forget the rest of them. if the president can get that lead and carry florida, the race is to 270 wolf. that would be, in two words, game over. >> gloria, if you take a look at the strength that the president has in these states, you see something fascinating. >> it is. i call it the empathy question. if you look at this question that was asked of the new "washington post" poll, which candidate is seen as advancing the interests of the middle class? you see the president up by 25
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points on that question in florida, but 19 points in ohio. and that is, of course, what people vote on, because everybody says they're middle class. so this is essentially asking, who's the fellow who cares more about my interests? and with obama up by those considerable double digits, it's very, very difficult -- >> puts the pressure on romney of these three presidential debates. actually, the first one, a week from tomorrow, guys. october 3rd. thanks very much. bill clinton on mitt romney in the 47%. the former president talks to cnn's piers morgan about the republican nominee and why the debates could make all the difference.
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former president bill clinton praised both president obama and mitt romney before their separate speeches to his gathering of business and political leaders today in new york. but in a one-on-one interview with cnn's piers morgan, the former president got a lot more political about the state of the
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campaign. listen to this . >> ed rollins today came out this line that went down very well with the audience. if there's one things we learned, a few words from bill clinton can do someone a lot of good. what words would have for mitt romney given the state of the election campaign right now? >> well, i think, you know, the debates are very important for him. >> crucial? >> i think so. and i think if he's going to double down on that 47% remark, that will cause difficulties, because we now know that the overwhelming number of those people work and have children. and the reason they don't pay federal income taxes is the median income is as low as it was in 1995 now. and until the current election season, republicans and democrats supported both the child tax credit and the earned
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income tax credit. this is a rejection of basically more than three decades of bipartisan policy to support working families. it's not a bunch of freeloaders. >> that's only the start. please be sure to watch the full interview with the former president, bill clinton, on cnn's "piers morgan tonight." that's coming up at 9:00 p.m. eastern, only here on cnn. today also brought some hopeful signs about the u.s. economy. home prices are on the rise, and so is consumer confidence. cnn's chief business correspondent, ali velshi, is joining us from new york right now. ali, update us on the latest information coming in. >> well, two pieces of information that are really key to people's decisions about how they feel about the economy. consumer confidence is a measure of how people feel about the current situation and what it's going to be in the future. it rose nine points in september. that was actually a decline in august. so in august, people were feeling like things weren't going in the right direction. now the latest reading is that
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americans are feeling quite strong. so that's a good bump in consumer confidence. now, here's the thing. if there's a cloud, an economic cloud over us right now, the silver lining has been housing. we have seen inventories drop, foreclosures slow down, prices start to stabilize, and even rise. we have a great measure called the case-shiller index. it measures 20 urban areas, 20 cities across the united states, and it is now measured the third consecutive rise in home prices now in september. in fact, we saw 1.6% rise, wolf, compared to the previous month. so this -- these are two pieces of good news. sorry, in july, july to august, we saw a 1.6% increase. so this is, you know, these two things make people feel a little more prosperous. they think that the jobs situation is going to improve after 23 months of improvement, and they're seeing home prices get a little better. that's -- these are warming signs for the economy, wolf. >> on the other hand, as you know, some people see the
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housing numbers going up, they think maybe home prices could be bottoming out right now. what's the assessment on that? >> yeah, and that's -- look, the thing about home prices to remember, as you know very well, wolf, it's all local, right? nobody necessarily goes out there and says, hey, home prices rose in the summer by 1.6%. either it's time to get in now or time to sell my house. you're going to find out what it's like in the area in which you're in. so arizona saw some big increases, but places like atlanta are still suffering in terms of housing prices. but all 20 markets that are measured by this survey saw an improvement. so that's a very, very telling sign. this is a combination both, wolf, of housing prices possibly bottoming out and these remarkably, remarkably low interest rates. you can get a 30-year fixed mortgage now for about better than 3.5%. so that's helping out the economy much more than anybody telling you what the economy is doing. >> certainly is. the political ramifications of this with six weeks to go until the election, the positive signs
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in the economy, what does that say, at least over these six weeks for president obama and governor romney? >> well, president obama's got a few things that can go wrong, some of them are political in terms of foreign policy, but economically, his biggest issue is that if something goes wrong between israel and iran or iran ratchets it up, oil prices start to go up, that always makes people feel very bad about the economy, even if it's tied to something specific. there are also two jobs reports to come out. one is next friday and the second one comes out five days before the election. those could also indicate something that the president doesn't like. here's the thing, though. bottom line is right now, the economy is feeling good. as you know, it's still polling as the number one election issue. if it keeps on track, the republicans are going to have to watch their messaging about how this is a bad economy, because many americans are not actually feeling that it's worse than it was four years ago. >> and in early october, when jobs numbers, the unemployment rate, and also in november, early november, before the election, a second one, so we've still got those two jobs reports
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awaiting all of us. thanks, ali, very much. meanwhile, a severe breach of royal protocol forces the bbc to apologize to queen elizabeth. we have details of what one reporter did that's unheard of in british journalism. [ woman ] ring. ring. progresso. your soups are so awesomely delicious
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i'm kate balduan. let's get you caught up on some of the other stories making news in "the situation room" right now. the iranian navy successfully fired four missiles designed to
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hit warships in the persian gulf, claiming that they sank their target in less than a minute. the most recent test of might comes as u.s.-led naval groups conduct mine-sweeping drills in the gulf and as iran's president mahmoud ahmadinejad prepares to address the u.n. general assembly. that will be tomorrow. and queen elizabeth's private comments about muslim cleric abu has ma al masri now has the bbc quoting an apology. the queen was pretty upset that british officials didn't arrest the cleric after his 2006 conviction on terrorist charges. the court ruled that al masri can be extradited to the u.s. where he faces a possible life sentence. but in britain, interestingly, disclosing private conversations with her majesty is an extreme breach of etiquette. also, police in madrid say 6,000 people protested outside the spanish parliament, voicing anger at both the government and the opposition over the country's economic crisis. unemployment is near 25% and austerity measures are only
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fueling the frustration. there were several clashes between protesters and police with more than a dozen people arrested. and many of us watched her grow up. now chelsea clinton is an accomplished woman in her own right. and she offered a little insight into clinton family dynamics during an interview with the clinton global initiative in new york today. listen to what she told charlie rose about her mother, her father, and grandchildren. >> how do you do this? >> i work really hard. >> what's the goal? >> to lead a purposeful, meaningful life. i mean, i think that's one of the things that unifies those of us here at cgi. each of us is trying to do the most with the resources we've given and i think each of us is always trying to get smarter and more efficient and more effective. and i certainly, i think this is partly because much to my parent's chagrin, i don't yet
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have children, i see this part of my life as working very hard to get, you know, ever-smarter and ever more efficient. and i think that my teaching has helped me really understand more how to advocate effectively for things that i believe in. >> chelsea clinton has been married to mark mavinski, the son of two members of congress, since 2010. still to come in "the situation room," the bill clinton factor. how the former president could possibly help both president obama and mitt romney. we're talking about that and more in our strategy session.
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i'm wolf blitzer in "the situation room." here are some of the stories we're working on right now. both presidential candidates had some face time with former president bill clinton today. who did he help the most? we're also looking at the biggest gain in politics right now, lowering expectations for the presidential debates. stand by. you're in "the situation room." let's get right to our strategy session. joining us, our cnn contributors. they're the democratic strategists, donna brazile and
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erick erickson. he's the editor in chief of the conservative political blog, redstate.com. eric, let me start with you and play a sound bite from romney. he was speaking at the clinton global initiative, and he smiled at the beginning of his remarks. listen to this. >> if there's one thing we've learned in this election season, by the way, it is that a few words from bill clinton can do a man a lot of good. all i've got to do now is wait a couple of days for that bounce to happen. >> a cute moment, indeed. former president bill clinton said some really nice things about mitt romney in introducing him. even though that was sort of lighthearted, there's an important substantiative, serious point that could be made as well, erick. >> yeah, i think so.
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they did a very good job there. mitt romney stayed away from really going after the president today. it really does show you how bill clinton has shined after being outside of the office. and it also does raise a point that the crowd there recognized that a lot of the bounce that barack obama got out of his convention was really bill clinton's bounce. but i don't think he'll dispute it, but i think he'll take it. and mitt romney hasn't had that bounce. everything seems to be faded now and we're back to this neck and neck race around the country, particularly in the swing states. and i guess this leads us to the debates and are they really going to matter? you bet. >> and bill clinton, donna, had a little fun in introducing the president over at the clinton global initiative. listen to this. >> if you're an american citizen and you introduce the president, you're supposed to say, the president of the united states, and shut up. that's it. i just want to make one comment about this. i'm going to finish that speech
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i started in charlotte. >> he had a little fun at that as well. he spoke about i think about 45 minutes in charlotte at that convention. how much does bill clinton, with six weeks to go, donna, in this election campaign, help president obama? >> you know, president clinton has the midas touch. he understands this political theater better than i think most other former politicians. he's someone who is in touch with the values of everyday working americans, he's one of the most admired politicians in the country. there's no question that bill clinton is going to be helpful to not just president obama, but democrats up and down the ticket. he is in demand, from all quarters of the country, and i just hope and pray that bill clinton will not only get out there, every day, over the next 40-some odd days, but he's there
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to help president obama and vice president biden with the debate preps. because i agree with erick, the debates are going to be crucial this election season. >> all right, out on the campaign trail, erick, paul ryan, the republican vice presidential nominee, he's making some serious accusations against joe biden, but joe biden is responding. listen to what joe biden said today. >> for the previous eight years, all the policies that congressman ryan voted for and, and governor romney said he supported, all those policies in a mere eight years, they doubled the national debt. they doubled the national debt from what they inherited in 2001. >> all right, he's right on that, because the debt was about $5 trillion when president bush took office, more than $10 trillion when he left office. and i think he's referring to the two tax cuts that weren't paid for, the prescription drug benefits that weren't paid for, two wars, iraq and afghanistan, that weren't paid for, that caused so much, at least, 80 or
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90% of that debt. >> well, you know, i actually don't think that the wars caused us to add that much debt, but a lot of stuff did. but here's a fact as well. yes, president bush left off with a doubled national debt. here's another fact the democrats don't like. president obama had added more to the national debt than all other presidents, from george washington to george bush combined. and when george bush was president, joe biden voted for some of those things. and in 2006, the democrats took back congress, and joe biden kept on spending. >> the national debt has gone from $10 trillion to now more than $16 trillion during the obama administration, an increase of $6 trillion. >> first of all, wolf, let me just say this. the two wars have cost us an enormous amount of money. and of course the loss of our brave servicemen and women as
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well. so that added ed ted to the na deficit. one other thing, we're not bringing in as much revenue as we should be bringing in to pay for all the services and programs that the american people continue to desire. there's no question under this president that we've seen, you know, the most significant budget cuts, also, in the history of the country. discretionary spending is at its lowest in 60 years, taxes are also at their lowest. but the one thing the democrats have not done, we haven't walked away from the table. we haven't pointed fingers and said, it's just their fault. we're all in this together. it's time that republicans roll up their sleeves, come to the table, so we can fix this problem, and solve many of our other great challenges can before the end of the year, and the american people can get back to work, because that's what they desire us to do. >> i think both of these vice presidential candidates, they're gearing up for their one vice presidential debate in october as well. i'm looking forward to that, like all of you are as well. stand by, don't go away. we have more to discuss. mitt romney and paul ryan, they
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did team up together in ohio today and i want to get our strategists' take on whether they're more effective together or out there solo on the campaign trail. >> are you ready to win?! any sms credit card. your boa! [ garth ] thor's small business earns double miles on every purchase, every day! ahh, the new fabrics, put it on my spark card. [ garth ] why settle for less? the spiked heels are working. wait! [ garth ] great businesses deserve the most rewards! [ male announcer ] the spark business card from capital one. choose unlimited rewards with double miles or 2% cash back on every purchase, every day! what's in your wallet? [ cheers and applause ]
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we're back with our cnn political contributor, the democratic strategist, donna brazile, and our cnn contributor, erick erickson, the editor in chief of the conservative political blog, redstate.com. it was interesting when mitt romney spoke at the clinton global initiative today, erick, he made it clear he wants some changes, some reforms in u.s. foreign aid, but he supports foreign aid. listen to what he said. >> for american foreign aid to become more effective, it's got to embrace the principles that
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you see in these global initiatives. the power of partnerships, access to the transformative nature of free enterprise, and the leverage of the abundant resources that can come from the private sector. >> now, i listened closely to romney's speech. he made it clear to me, he's an internationalist. he's not an isolationist. john mccain, for example, the other day, was here in "the situation room," complaining about senator rand paul of kentucky, calling him isolationist, because he wants to end u.s. government, foreign aid. romney today made it clear that he supports the establishment in going forward with a better, more improved foreign aid, but he supports government foreign aid. what do you make of that? >> well, i think he's stating what has been a republican policy for a long time. ronald reagan supported foreign aid. george h.w. bush and george w. bush did as well. look, i grew up in dubai and understand the power of american dollars overseas, whether it comes from u.s. foreign aid or from private business. but what i do disagree with and
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what i think the governor will disagree with is we probably need to stop funding countries that clearly aren't working in our interest. >> give me a name tor two. >> i think if you look at the present course being run in egypt or even in pakistan, i think we need to put some restrictions on our dollars being spent there. >> because the u.s. does give more than $1 billion a year to each of these countries, almost $2 billion to pakistan, donna. is that money well spent or money thrown away? >> i think it's important that we do leverage our foreign dollars, whether we're giving them $1 billion or less than that. and that it's an important leverage to use in our diplomat toolbox. but at a time where most persons are feeling the pressure of this recession, or still feeling the pressure, there's no question that they're going to ask our leaders not to spend so much. but as you well know, wolffe and erick, it's less than 2% of our federal budget. i thought mitt romney gave a very good, smart speech. he's evolved a lot since the
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republican primary, but it's important that when it comes to foreign aid, international relations, we be on the same -- i think that both parties should be on the same page, because we're living in some difficult days. >> erick, you saw mitt romney leave new york and fly right out to the battleground state of ohio, out on the campaign stump out there, with paul ryan. is he a better candidate out there when he's together with paul ryan or when they're individually campaigning? >> oh, i think that's the biggest problem mitt romney has on the trail right now, is that he's much better with paul ryan. he feeds off ryan's energy. i actually think paul ryan does a very good job on the trail by himself. mitt romney has improved on the trail, being with paul ryan, and that's a problem. and he's going to skirt off a bunch of fund-raisers as well. one of the things it does help him, particularly flin places le ohio, they get a lot more free advertising, free coverage with the media they don't have to spend when they're on the campaign trail. >> thanks very much, guys. much more news coming up in
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"the situation room," including building better schools. president obama and mitt romney both want to do it, but they have very different ideas about how it should be done. we're going inside their education plans. two years ago, the people of bp made a commitment to the gulf. and every day since, we've worked hard to keep it. bp has paid over twenty-three billion dollars to help people and businesses who were affected, and to cover cleanup costs. today, the beaches and gulf are open for everyone to enjoy -- and many areas are reporting their best tourism seasons in years. we've shared what we've learned with governments and across
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the industry so we can all produce energy more safely. i want you to know, there's another commitment bp takes just as seriously: our commitment to america. bp supports nearly two-hundred-fifty thousand jobs in communities across the country. we hired three thousand people just last year. bp invests more in america than in any other country. in fact, over the last five years, no other energy company has invested more in the us than bp. we're working to fuel america for generations to come. today, our commitment to the gulf, and to america, has never been stronger. i'm also a survivor of ovarian a writand uterine cancers. i even wrote a play about that. my symptoms were a pain in my abdomen and periods that were heavier and longer than usual for me. if you have symptoms that last two weeks or longer, be brave, go to the doctor. ovarian and uterine cancers are gynecologic cancers.
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we see the same problems, but like on so many other issues, president obama and mitt romney sharply disagree on how to improve america's education system. we asked cnn's lisa sylvester to go in depth on what each of these two men wants to do. and you've taken a close look, lisa. >> yeah, that's right, wolffe. you know, president obama and governor romney, they do share some things in common when it comes to education. both men support charter schools, but there are a few major differences between the two candidates. and that could have a direct impact on students and their
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parent parents. >> reporter: at this elementary school in potomac, maryland, first graders are learning their math lesson in chinese. part of a language emergent program. but at the same time, other schools across the country from washington, d.c., to texas are so strapped, they've been forced to consider letting go of librarians, cutting bus routes, and eliminating field trips. it's something parent always know, where you live can determine the quality of your child's education. but the nation's education system as a whole is lagging when compared to other developed countries. the u.s. ranks 14th in reading, 17th in science, and 25th in math. how to fix the education system was front and center in chicago this month, as teacher es walke off the job over issues of longer school days, merit pay, and teacher evaluations. education reform is an issue in the presidential campaign. president obama and his
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republican challenger, mitt romney, both favor expanding charter schools, support standardized tests and want more accountability from teachers and principles. but the two men have significant disagreements. >> i think some of the main differences between governor romney and president obama when it comes to education come in the area of school choice. governor romney sees a really robust role for school choice and school improvement, whereas president obama, like a lot of democrats, has been skeptical of vouchers. >> reporter: romney supports taking the federal dollars for educating special needs and low-income families, known as title i funds, and giving them directly to parents in the form of vouchers. although romney avoids using that word. >> for the first time in history, federal education funds will be linked to the student, so that parents can send their child to any public or charter school of their choice. >> reporter: the obama administration is staunchly opposed. >> why not expand vouchers. why not give parents more choices?
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>> the goal can't be to remove one child from the system and let the other 500 drown. we have to make every single school a great, great school, and i think all of our time and energy and resources should go to making public schools schools of choice. >> reporter: education secretary arne duncan is using federal dollars. to the top, he wants school districts to develop a set of standards so what a child learns in topeka cans is the aim in ohio. the obama administration has given millions to reform schools and that's another difference between obama and romney. funding. here's how duncan views it. >> we think of education as an investment. they look at education as an expense. and congressman ryan's budget, which governor romney supports, would seek 200,000 less children go to head start programs, huge cutbacks in funding for poor children, huge cutbacks in resources for children with special needs. >> reporter: but it's unclear if romney would follow through on
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the cuts proposed by his running mate. we reached out to the romney campaign, but it did not make anyone available for comment. but fiscal conservative groups like the heritage foundation say spending needs to be reined in. >> and so we have seen this tremendous increase in spending, and yet we have nothing to show for it in terms of results. and i think it really does come back to the idea that it's not about more spending, it's about empowering parents with control over how we spend those dollars. >> reporter: a no child left behind, both candidates say the law needs to be fixed. romney emphasizes transparency and requiring that states release public report cards on all schools. the obama administration has granted waivers to 33 states and the district of columbia to measure progress. but on this much, both men agree. the nation can't afford to fail its students. now, no child left behind is long overdue for reauthorization in congress. democrats and republicans, though, they both have issues
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with the law, but they just can't agree on what should be the proper fix. so it's been caught up in gridlock. in the meantime, we've seen the obama administration going around congress by giving these states their waivers. and therefore, more flexibility, wolf. >> a lot of debate over whether or not these teachers spend way too much time just getting these kids ready for standardized tests as opposed to teaching them math and reading and science or whatever. >> that is a big issue. if you've been following education, you hear teachers complaining about this, you hear parents complaining about this so-called teaching to the test. but actually, both romney and obama, they both support standardized tests and having some measures, some accountability the. but the question is, how do you keep and maintain that accountability, but still -- where you're not spending your classroom instruction time merely practicing and rehearsing for these tests. and not giving students the broad education. and that's sort of the real rub here, wolf. >> it's a great subject and i'm glad you're investigating. thanks very much. the presidential candidates have been attacking each other
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for months but all of a sudden raising the other man's debating skills. our own john berman is very suspicious about what's going on. re using nothing at all. but neosporin® eczema essentials™ is different. its multi-action formula restores visibly healthier skin in 3 days. neosporin® eczema essentials™. heaven on your palate." in other heavenly news, all our yoplait light flavors are now 90 calories each. and cue the angels. what? ok. we don't have angels. yoplait. it is so good. not quite knowing what the next phase was going to be, you know, because you been, you know, this is what you had been doing. you know, working, working, working, working, working, working. and now you're talking about, well you know, i won't be, and i get the chance to spend more time with my wife and my kids. it's my world. that's my world. ♪
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that's my world. romney: "it's time to stand up to the cheaters" vo: tough on china? not mitt romney. when a flood of chinese tires threatened a thousand american jobs... it was president obama who stood up to china and protected american workers. mitt romney attacked obama's decision... said standing up to china was "bad for the nation and our workers." how can mitt romney take on the cheaters... when he's taking their side? ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ that should do it. enjoy your new shower.
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here's a look at this hour's hot shots in south korea. honor guards carry flags during a ceremony for armed forces day. in vietnam, customers look at
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lanterns in a toy market. in france, yacht teams compete during the 34th edition of the royal regatta. and in indonesian, a mother tiger watches over her cub at a zoo. hot shots, pictures from around the world. the first presidential debate is one week from tomorrow night. cnn's john berman is following the race to lower expectations. john? >> reporter: you know, wolf, we always complain about all the negative attacks in campaigns. but it turns out there's nothing more devious, nothing more cynical than when these guys are actually nice to each other. you know, if you want something to hate about politics, it's this. kindness. the obama campaign has spent months and millions trying to convince voters that mitt romney is unethical -- >> he won't release his tax returns before 2010.
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>> reporter: unprepared -- >> my opponent and his running mate are new to foreign policy. >> reporter: unattached to reality. >> my thinking is maybe you haven't gotten around a lot. >> reporter: with all those alleged problems, surely he has no chance of prevailing against president obama in the debates. right? well, not according to the obama campaign. >> mitt romney, i think, has an advantage because he's been through 20 of these debates in the primaries over the last year. >> reporter: the romney team says president obama is weak on foreign policy -- >> what we do not see is steady, consistent leadership. >> reporter: weak on the economy -- >> he's over his head and swimming in the wrong direction. >> reporter: and just plain weak overall. >> the president today threw in the white flag to surrender again. >> reporter: with all those weaknesses, surely he would be easy to beat in a debate, right? oh, no! not according to mitt romney.
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>> he's president of the united states, he's a very effective speaker. >> reporter: so follow this. team obama suggests romney is a sure thing to win the debates. team romney says it's obama. it's like that famous bizarre zo world episode of "seinfeld." >> up is down, down is up. he says hello when he leaves, goodbye when he arrives. >> reporter: but bizarro seinfeld was funny. each side trying to set the expectations so high for the opponent, they can't possibly be met. so low for the home team, merely speaking in a complete sentence would be a victory. it is a long-held tradition, an adviser to george w. bush once called john kerry the best debater since as i sayer cerro. >> having been through this, i think he starts with an advantage. >> reporter: elections are not graded o